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US NZ Partnership Forum to be reconvened in 2011 in New Zealand

08 October 2009

The third US NZ Partnership Forum which concluded in Washington today has made a further contribution to strengthening the US/NZ relationship and will be repeated in New Zealand in 2011, say the organizing Councils.

US NZ Council President John Mullen said the Forum was memorable for the quality of the discussion as well as the high level participants on both sides.

“At a time when the world is looking for new ideas about how to accelerate the economic recovery, open new markets and build sustainable business the Forum showed that there are people on both sides of the Pacific thinking about these things and looking for new ways to work together.  The two days we have spent together have been highly productive and have served to enhance New Zealand’s credentials as a valuable Trans Pacific partner for the United States”.

The Forum was held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC 6-8 October.  The Forum was attended by around 120 delegates (67 Americans and 54 New Zealanders) and a large number of observers.  The Forum was co-chaired by former Congressman Cal Dooley and Ambassador Susan Schwab for the United States and Rt Hon James Bolger and Rt Hon Mike Moore for New Zealand.  Keynote addresses were delivered by Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully, Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, Deputy US Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis, Trade Minister Hon Tim Groser, and Leader of the Opposition Hon Phil Goff. 

NZ US Council Chairman Rt Hon James Bolger said the Forum provided an important platform for both government and business to take the relationship forward.

“Our Forum covered the range of challenges that both countries face.  The reality is we need each other if we are to meet these challenges and exploit new opportunities, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.  We intend to meet therefore for a fourth time in New Zealand in early 2011 to continue the dialogue that we first began in Washington in April 2006”.

Held under Chatham House rules, the Forum’s theme was “Trans Pacific Partnership: Deepening Engagement; Expanding Opportunities”.  The Forum agenda included business sessions on the economic and political outlook for the Asia Pacific region, the prospects for trade liberalization, the interface between trade and climate change, business co-operation in the areas of healthcare, sustainable biofuels, film and digital content and food safety and the security challenges facing both countries.

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